Calera police short on school resource officers, hoping to hire retired officers part-time
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Texas school tragedy has Alabama school officials increasing security measures on campuses across the state.
But, police shortages are leaving one district more vulnerable.
“I really don’t want to have to pull people off patrol,” Calera Police Chief David Hyche said. “I really don’t want to deplete any of our staffing, but the school staffing is the most important thing and the most important challenge that we have.”
They have two full time officers to split between their four schools, with other officers working as SRO’s part time. It’s because of the nationwide police officer shortage. Hyche said he wants to fill two more full time positions.
“I need more bodies as school resource officers,” Hyche said. “I don’t know if we can fill these positions. I have proposed to hire retired officers in a part time capacity which we haven’t done here.”
He said retired officers could help because of their previous trainings. He wants one full time officer at each school, but because of its size, he wants two officers full time at the high school.
“I want to work towards having a school resource officer unit, eventually with a sergeant in place,” Hyche said. “The kids deserve that, the parents deserve that, and it’s what we should strive for.”
Hyche said he is hoping to get his SRO staff back to full capacity with help of retired officers, but he thinks every year, police departments should evaluate SRO staffing and add more officers to the school depending on their population size.
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